ALOHA NUI LOA!
Thanks for taking the time to visit our site!
We are a family of 5 who has made the biggest choice of our lives to move from Detroit Michigan to the Hawaiian island of Maui. This blog is a written journal of our adventure and ideally a resource for regular people who are interested in making a life changing move, but are hesitant or doubtful that this is a real possibility for them.
A quick intro: We are Rico, Mayra, Mina, Fred, and Eros. For now it will mostly be the parents contributing to the blog (This is Rico writing), but as this journey evolves we would like to add sections for the kids to share their experiences from their on point of views.
This Blog is a companion piece to our podcast which can be found on both iTunes and this site.
So without further ado…
WHY WE CHOSE TO MAKE THIS MOVE
We first had an inkling that this was the right idea for out family about 10 years ago (2006-ish), and we were living in what turned out to be a neighborhood in a very steep decline. Drug dealers had moved onto our street, and the good people had already started making their exodus for greener pastures.
Gun violence became normal, loud music, prostitution and general malaise had taken over our family.
We wanted to move to Canada, France, Catalina Island, and even Ohio for a hot second there. But Hawaii always came up as the ultimate goal, not just because of the obvious beauty, and the endless Summers, but for the slower pace, the safe environment, and the love and respect of family and Mother Earth. It was easy to imagine why our family would thrive living there. But we were missing the how component of providing an income for ourselves.
Then 2008 hit.
I won’t write a novel about what transpired over this extremely difficult period, but suffice it to say, we lost jobs, house, and were barely making ends meet for almost 3 years.
Then in 2011 we got a job offer that moved us to Phoenix, AZ.
And everything was much better…
…Life was more relaxed, we lived on a quiet Cul-de-Sac within eye-site of the kids school and a community pool. Sadly it wasn’t long before I realized that the opportunity that brought us to AZ wasn’t a great fit, and I went back to my chosen profession of Presentation Design.
Oh! And we had a baby. Hi Eros!
During that tumultuous time, I worked remotely in California for 2 years, then landed a full time opportunity with a financial company. All the while, we realized that we were never going to retire from this company and if we wanted a life that really fulfilled us, we’d have to take a massive leap of faith and that meant Maui.
But one does not just go to Maui.
As luck would have it, I landed a high return project that allowed me to quit my job, and move us out to California. It took a few months before everything came together, and in the interim I lived with my sister while I saving enough for a substantial down payment on a rental, as well as the moving truck.
We became official Californians on November 1st 2016.
But we knew that this was only going to be for a year. Mayra was quite adamant that she was not, nor would ever be a Cali girl.
From that moment on, I worked like mad to pull together enough cash to fund the trip. Then in February it occurred to me; train the family to become presentation designers. I discussed it with the Mayra and the kids and explained that if I could replicate myself, we could literally quadruple our income. Even working remotely, we’d make more money that I ever could myself working a full time job.
With this unity in hand, I began training Mayra and assigning her projects. The kids still had a little while before graduation (another story) and their training would begin as well.
(WE’RE MOVING TO MAUI!)
On April 1st 2016, we gathered in our living room with the kids, went to the Hawaiian Air Website, pulled and with Mayra’s hand on mine, we clicked the “Purchase” button. There was a palpable sensation of adrenaline that ran through us. Our hands trembled with the gravity of what we’d done, and then goosebumps spread over our arms as seconds later, we saw the screen return a trip confirmation.
There’s nothing as sobering than realizing you just pressed the green button to launch a rocket with 5 people on it into the unknown vastness of space. People who care and rely on your every decision to be sound and right for the survival and betterment of their lives. It’s an awesome weight to put on oneself with lots of risk and even more unknown variables. But the payoff is epic, and without sounding too much like “Bill and Ted” we will be set for life if this works out as planned.
The logic here is that up until this point, we’ve lived a fairly challenging life. We’ve lived in an unsafe neighborhood, and faced numerous job losses, all while raising three extremely well adjusted children. It’s not that we can’t continue to adapt and endure in the life we have now, on the short end – it’s entirely easier to stay where we are and embrace California for the next 20 years. But for the long term, we had to ask ourselves if we wanted out children to become adults and have their children in this environment, and the answer was a defiant NO.
We want to raise our kids in the last bastion of paradise on earth. Where they can live a life that is ecologically rich, emotionally more grounded, and still allows them to meet people from all walks of life. As their parents, we lived half of our own lives living in places that most people try to escape from. My parents moved us to California when I was 4 years old, and it was glorious. When my parents moved us back to Michigan 5 years later, it was like being kicked out of heaven. In hindsight – I’m actually glad for that chapter of my life, it planted the seed in my mind that you can follow your bliss, if you truly know what it is you want.
Two Months Later
(My Scouting Ticket Get’s Purchased)
I took the plunge and got my scouting ticket! I’ll be leaving in early October and shipping my car in late September So I can have a vehicle to drive when get there. It felt surreal, knowing that I’m going to be there by myself. And to be honest, while this isn’t the first time that I’ve had to leave the family alone for an extended period of time, this is going to be very stressful on me, since I HAVE to find a rental within the time I’m there.
There’s a lot of logistical items that need to be resolved. Those will be addressed in the next entry.